Sep 2, 2016: A new research by Imperial College London suggests that a new form of light can be created by binding light to a single electron in a topological insulator and combining the properties of both. According to the team of scientists, the coupled light and electron have properties that would lead to photonics based circuits.
In normal materials, light interacts with electrons on the surface of a material and within it. But, by using theoretical physics to model the behavior of light and topological insulators, the researchers have found that light could interact with a single electron on the surface. This, the team headed by Dr Giannini’s believes, would create a coupling that merges some of the properties of the light and the electron.
Light takes property of electron
Normally, light travels in a straight line, but when bound to the electron it would instead follow its path, tracing the surface of the material. However, Dr Giannini’s work showed that similar to the light taking the property of the electron and circulating the particle, the electron also takes on some of the properties of the light. Instead of stopping when faced with a defect, the electron could still be able to travel onward with the aid of light. If this could be adapted into photonics, it could create more robust circuits which are less vulnerable to disruption and physical imperfections, the team believes.
How the study will impact
This study will have an enormous impact on the way light is conceived. Topological insulators were only discovered in years or so, but are already new phenomena to study and new ways to explore significant concepts in physics, according to the researchers. Furthermore, they also added that it should be possible to observe the phenomena Dr Gianninihas modeled in experiments using current technology.
New form of light can be created by binding light to electron
The researchers believe that the process resulting in the creation of this new form of light can be increased so that the phenomena can be observed in an easy manner. At present, quantum phenomena can only be viewed when looking at objects or minute objects , and now with this new finding, the researchers can study such behaviours at room temperature.